Israel’s Interests In
By Ghali Hassan
29 March, 2006
years ago an Israeli Army bulldozer – manufactured and financed
by the US – drove over and killed Rachel Corrie. The 23-year-old
student from Washington State was in Palestine trying to protect defenceless
Palestinians from Israel’s daily terror. Rachel’s horrifying
death was deliberately covered-up and her name smeared in order to “protect
Israel’s interests”. Why is the U.S. sacrifice so much for
Since its creation on Palestinian
land, Israel has received massive financial, military and political
aid from the U.S. to facilitate Israel’s dispossession of the
Palestinian people and expansionist policy. In 1948, Israeli Jews have
ethnically cleansed more than 800,000 Palestinian (75 per cent of the
population) from their land and massacred tens of thousands of innocent
men, women and children. Again, in 1967 Israel used the same process
of systematic ethnic cleansing to expel more than 500,000 Palestinians
from their land in the West Bank. Israel is devoid of any moral superiority.
In Palestine, Israel’s
brutal policies involve permanent injuries to individuals, sadistic
torture, rapes and deliberate executions of innocent Palestinians, including
school children and political leaders. Today, more than 4 million Palestinians
live on less than 20 percent of what was once the British Mandate of
Palestine. They are pushed into disconnected ghettoes control and denied
freedom of movement by the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF). Gaza is a
large prison with more than 1.2 million impoverished and hungry Palestinians.
According to the World Bank, Gaza is experiencing the worst depression
in history caused by Israeli blockade and restrictions. More than 10,000
Palestinians are illegally imprisoned in Israeli-run prisons without
charge. Another 4-6 million Palestinians are languishing in refugee
camps in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon unable to return to their homeland.
The aim is to fractionate and exterminate the Palestinian community
while the rest of the world looking the other way.
Israeli revisionist historian
Benny Morris, who advocated the expulsion of all Palestinians from Palestine
because he thinks Palestinians are Untermenschen or “lesser humans”
than Jews has admitted (recently) that Israel “founded on brute
force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beating and
torture chambers and daily intimidation, humiliation and manipulation”
together with the stealing of Palestinian land and water resources.
The situation has not changed since. Israel continues the dispossession
and the systematic process of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people
with unquestionable support of the US administrations.
A study by John Mearsheimer,
Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and Stephen
Walt, Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government
at Harvard, accurately detailed the hidden fist of the pro-Israel America’s
pro-Israel Jewish Lobby (‘the Lobby’) behind US unquestioned
support for Israel’s terror against the Palestinian people. In
the March 2006 issue of the Faculty Research Working Papers Series of
Harvard University . The authors write:
“Since the October
War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support
dwarfing that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual
recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and
is the largest recipient in total since World War Two, to the tune of
well over $140 billion (in 2004 dollars). Israel receives about $3 billion
in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid
budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli. This largesse
is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state
with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain”.
Compare this with what Americans received in Katrina devastated New
“Most recipients of
aid given for military purposes are required to spend all of it in the
US, but Israel is allowed to use roughly 25 per cent of its allocation
to subsidise its own defence industry. It is the only recipient that
does not have to account for how the aid is spent, which makes it virtually
impossible to prevent the money from being used for purposes the US
opposes, such as building settlements on the West Bank”, write
Mearsheimer and Walt. “Moreover, the US has provided Israel with
nearly $3 billion to develop weapons systems, and given it access to
such top-drawer weaponry as Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 jets. Finally,
the US gives Israel access to intelligence it denies to its NATO allies
and has turned a blind eye to Israel’s acquisition of nuclear
weapons”, add the authors. Furthermore, the US provides Israel
with strong political backing – even though Israel is in violations
of International Law and countless UN Resolutions –, in particular
using its veto’s power at the UN against the world community to
veto any criticism of Israel and increases the misery of the Palestinian
“The combination of
unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’
throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized
not only U.S. security but that of much of the rest of the world. This
situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the U.S.
been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies
in order to advance the interests of another state?” question
Walt and Mearsheimer.
It is alleged that US support
for Israel is motivated by the following: 1) Israel is “outnumbered”
by the Arabs; 2) Israel is the only “democracy” in a region;
and 3) Israel is a strategic U.S. ally and that supporting Israel is
in the “interests of the American people”. However, evidence
shows that the opposite is true in all cases.
Israel is the largest military
power in the region. In fact Israel is the fourth largest army in the
world. Its modern army in financed and backed by the US and Western
allies with more than 200 nuclear warheads aimed at defenceless neighbours.
It is not a true Israel is only outnumbered by defenceless peoples.
The Arabs armies are not for defence purposes, but to protect US stooges
from the Arab masses and Arabs nationalism. Israel has regularly attacked
and invaded neighbouring countries. In addition to its occupation of
Palestinian land, Israel is still occupying the Golan Height in Syria,
and south Lebanon. Israel continues to kill and wounding Palestinians
in ratio of four or five to one. And in recent time, Israel has threatened
to bomb Iran.
Israel is not a “democracy”.
Israel defines itself as a “Jewish state”. It is not a state
for all its citizens. According to a recent report published in the
Guardian and substantiated by Gideon
Levi of Ha’aretz, Israel is one racist state reminiscent
to Apartheid South Africa . It discriminates not only against native
Palestinians and ‘Israeli Arabs’ but also against non-Jews.
Even Jews are treated and categorised according to their origin. Furthermore,
Israel is in violations of international law and the UN Charter in its
brutal treatments of the Palestinian people.
Furthermore, Israel is not
a “strategic” US asset. The US has far more reliable vassals
in the region than Israel. Saudi Arabia, like other big US military
bases in the Gulf, is a vital US ally in the war on Iraq and Afghanistan.
A large sector of the US economy depends on good relation with Saudi
Arabia. Turkey is another more important US ally than Israel. The reality
is that the unquestioned U.S. support for Israel is against Americans’
interests, and that Israel has succeeded in making America one of the
most feared and hated countries in the world.
Time has shown that the behaviour
of the US administrations and Israel – in rejecting countless
peaceful proposals to end the conflict – have been consistent
in creating and encouraging long-lasting conflict and political stalemate
in the region. U.S. leaders have always put Israel’s interests
above all other more vital US interests, and vehemently refused to reconcile
US interests in the Arab World with its interest in preserving Israel’s
interest. This imperialist agenda of conflict and stalemate is designed
to: 1) advance Israel's Zionist ideology; 2) benefit US oil corporations
from moderately high oil prices and; 3) provide market for US weapon
industries. However, support for Israel – pushed by the pro-Israel
America’s Lobby in the US – takes precedence over other
US interests in the Middle Eats. Because the Lobby “claims are
about advancing US interests and its support for Israel is contextualised
in its support for the overall US strategy in the Middle East”.
The influence of the pro-Israel
Lobby, a collection of individuals and organisation led among others
by Zionist organisations such as the powerful American-Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish
Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Conference of Presidents
of Major Jewish Organisations (CPMJO), and the Washington Institute
for Near East Policy (WINEP) is formidable. With massive amounts of
money collected from donations, the influence of these organisations
in Congress and over US foreign policy is far-reaching. It is common
among elites American Liberals that Capitol Hill is the fourth “Israeli
Occupied Territory”, after the Syrian Golan Heights, the West
Bank, and Gaza.
Without a doubt, “[t]he
thrust of U.S. policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic
politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’.
Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but
no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest
would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. interests
and those of the other country – in this case, Israel –
are essentially identical,” argue the authors of the study. In
coalition with the American religious right from the Republican Party
to the evangelical Christian groups, AIPAC with about 100,000 wealthy
members form a single ethnic group wields a formidable force in US politics.
The study by professors Walt
and Mearsheimer reveals that; “AIPAC’s success is due to
its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support
its agenda, and punish those who challenge it. We can recall in this
regard the attack waged in 1984 on Senator Charles Percy, chairman of
the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Thomas Dine, head
of AIPAC: All the Jews in America, from coast to coast, gathered to
oust [Senator Charles] Percy [of Illinois. Chairman of Senate Foreign
Relations Committee] and the American politicians – who hold public
positions now, and those who aspire – got the message” .
Money is critical to US
elections (as the recent scandal over lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s
various shady dealings remind us) and AIPAC makes sure that its friends
get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel political action
committees. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can
be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political
opponents. AIPAC also organizes letter-writing campaigns and encourages
newspaper editors to endorse pro-Israel candidates”. In 1982,
AIPAC led a very successful campaign to defeat Paul Findley, of Springfield,
Illinois. Findley was a congressman known for his sympathetic views
toward the Palestinian people. In other words, follow the Lobby’s
line of unconditionally supporting Israel’s terror, or else.
To have her ambition for
the presidency and her way to the White House certified by the Lobby,
Hillary R. Clinton has now turned against the Palestinian people. In
her latest attack on the Palestinians, the New York Senator defended
the Apartheid Wall – condemned as illegal by the International
Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague – which is built by Israel
on stolen Palestinian land. In fact, the ICJ’ ruling was that
the Wall and all settlements (Israeli colonies) in the West Bank, Gaza
and Jerusalem are illegal and must be removed. The ICJ ruling, like
all other world curt ruling, requires all other signatories to the ICJ
Charter to compel Israel’s compliance with the ruling. The
Wall annexes 58 per cent of the West Bank. It is designed
to imprison the Palestinians into disconnected ghettos and confiscate
their land and water resources. Yet, the Palestinians are told to ‘democratise’.
An imperialist cliché designed to manipulate public opinion and
increase the suffering of the victims.
Early this year, Human Rights
Watch (HRW) called on the Bush Administration to deduct from Israel’s
foreign aid assistance the amount it spends on expansion of settlements
and the Apartheid Wall. This request is an encouraging sign of due moral
principle. Most Americans are misled by the Lobby and Israel’s
propaganda that the Apartheid Wall is just a ‘security fence’.
A recent report by Shin Bet (the Israeli intelligent service) attributed
the decline of attacks against Israel and increased safety to the “the
informal truce observed by some Palestinian groups” and not to
the Apartheid Wall.
Mrs. Clinton campaign donation
is assured now. Mrs. Clinton just accepted $2000 from Willie Tan, owner
of a string of clothing sweatshops in the tiny Pacific nation of Saipan.
Mr. Tan was recently ordered to pay $9 million in back wages to workers
– mostly teenage Chinese females illegally shipped into the Island
from China – after officials branded his operation a sweatshop
in 1992. Mr. Tan has links with the Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who
pleaded guilty in January to fraud, corruption and embezzlement charges.
Abramoff who received large
amount of money as a Republican lobbyist diverted most of it (‘charity
donations’) to Israeli settlers living illegally on Palestinian
lands. His customers were told this money is intended for inner city
poor Americans. Instead the money bought military hardware to help settlers
terrorize native Palestinians. Among other expenditures, building school
for Israeli snipers, purchases of camouflage suits, sniper scopes, night
vision binoculars, a thermal imager and other material described in
foundation records as security equipment. (Michael Isikoff, Newsweek,
02 May 2005). Abramoff is one of Tom Delay “closest and dearest
friends”. Tom DeLay is the evangelical Christian Zionist who was
indicted on money laundering and other charges, and resigned his post
as House Majority Leader. DeLay is an advocate of Israel’s policy
of deliberate killings of Palestinian leaders. In July 2003 on a visit
to Israel, DeLay told the Israeli Knesset that: “Israel’s
fight is our fight” and that “Israel should not withdraw
from the occupied Arab lands”. The speech was an Armageddon of
violence and injustice orchestrated by the alliance of AIPAC and the
In addition, the Lobby plays
an important role in the thought control of the American public. Its
most formidable weapon is the use of anti-semitism against anyone who
dares to criticise Israel’s terror against the Palestinian people.
The Lobby uses the cliché of anti-semitism to stifle debate and
remove any even-handedness criticism of Israel. Any criticism of Israel
is labelled anti-semitism and subjected to threat and intimidation.
As a result of this blackmail, the US media – from the mainstream
to the so-called “Alternative” media – is the most
biased and less informative pro-Israeli media in the world. Even Israeli
media by comparison are more even-handed than the US media. “Because
so many powerful people in the media and publishing business are strong
supporters of Israel, the task is made vastly easier”, wrote the
late literary critic Edward Said.
Furthermore, to steer young
Americans in a pro-Israeli direction, the Lobby is moving into the university
and college campuses across the US – even though the average American
is unaware of “that there is a narrative of Palestinian suffering
and dispossession at least as old as Israel itself”. It instituted
and created several right-wing groups to watch and monitor any department
or faculty who dares to have pro-Palestinian opinion. Faculty members
across the US are under pressure from the Lobby to hue to Israel’s
policy. It demands a total pro-Israel teaching and brainwashing of American
Several universities with
Middle Eastern departments have been targeted and their faculty members
were subjected to hate e-mails and intimidation. They are also demanding
Congress to reduce the appropriation for Title VI-funded programs of
the Higher Education Act, in which federal funding provided to universities
to support the study of languages such as Arabic, Persian and Turkish.
Leading the pack of these attacks on American free thought, education
and democracy is Campus Watch. It is a pro-Israel, anti-Muslims web
site founded by the Zionist and Islamophobic, Daniel Pipes. The site
is a Zionist propaganda arm of the Israeli government. It is specialising,
among others, in witch-hunts academics and students who question the
US blind support for Israel’s terror and repression in Palestine.
It is a form of terrorist propaganda against academic freedom.
The study of Mearsheimer
and Walt concurs with several other studies and opinions around the
world that the US war on Iraq was largely to advance Israel’s
interests and has nothing to do with WMD and terrorism – as has
been proved. The study make a strong case that the Lobby and US Zionists
(the so-called ‘dual loyalty’ neo-cons or cabal, including
Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Elliot Abrams, Richard Perle, David Wurmser,
John Bolton, Michael Ruben, Dick Cheney, and Lewis ‘Scooter’
Libby, who is awaiting criminal trial) in the Bush Administration formulated
the policies and made the decisions to push the US to got to war on
Iraq. “The main driving force behind the war was a small band
of neo-conservatives, many with ties to the Likud [Party]”, write
Mearsheimer and Walt. “Given the neo-conservatives’ devotion
to Israel, their obsession with Iraq, and their influence in the Bush
administration, it isn't surprising that many Americans suspected that
the war was designed to further Israeli interests”, argue the
authors. Yet, the neocons push for the war on Iraq was largely uncovered
in US media.
The war against the Iraqi
people proves to be a carbon copy of the war on the Palestinian people.
In the same way Israel is destroying Palestine, US illegal war on Iraq
has destroyed the entire nation. In addition to the hundreds of thousands
of innocent Iraqi women and children slaughtered in cold blood, an unknown
large number of US soldiers killed and wounded. Why a premeditated mass
murder of innocent civilians is good for the Jewish people or the American
Furthermore, the war on Iraq
has cost American taxpayers massively. According to Linda Bilmes, a
Harvard University budget expert and Columbia University’s Professor
of Economics and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz calculate that the
war is likely to cost the American taxpayers a minimum of nearly one
trillion dollars and potentially over $2 trillion . America’s
education system and the health care services will blossom with a fraction
of this money. Israel is the only beneficiary of this criminal and illegal
war, and Israel continues to foment new war in the region.
The current warmongering
propaganda against Iran by Israel, the Lobby and some American politicians
such as Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Hillary R. Clinton is against
the interests of the American people. Americans should know that good
relations with Iran are in the interests of their nation. Any US attack
on Iran is against the interests of the American and Iranian peoples,
and can only lead to hostility between the West and the Muslim World.
The Lobby’s push for the war on Iraq and Israel’s involvement
in the crisis of both Iraq and Iran show that Israel is not only attacking
the Palestinian people, but Israel is also attacking every other Arab
and Muslim nation deemed to disagree with its colonial policy.
Israel reciprocates to this
generous and unquestioned support provided by American taxpayers and
the US administration by simply undermining American security. The case
of Jonathan Pollard, a Texan Jew and former intelligence analyst in
the US Navy is a case in point. Pollard was recruited by Israel to spy
on the US military and US Nuclear Deterrent program. Israel then traded
those stolen nuclear secrets to the former Soviet Union in exchange
for increased emigration quotas from there to Israel. "A number
of officials strongly suspect that the Israelis repackaged much of Pollard's
material and provided it to the Soviet Union in exchange for continued
Soviet permission for Jews to emigrate to Israel”, wrote Seymour
Hersh. Former Defence Secretary, Casper Weinberger, in his affidavit
opposing a reduced sentence for Pollard, described the damage done to
the United States; “[It is] difficult to conceive of a greater
harm to national security than that caused by … Pollard's treasonous
Lawrence A. Franklin, the
former analyst at the Defence Secretary Office at the Pentagon was recently
convicted and sentenced to 12 years, and seven months in prison after
pleading guilty to three felony counts under the Espionage Act to communicate
classified information to foreign government. Franklin passed highly
classified military information about Iran and Iraq to two pro-Israel
lobbyists (Steven Rosen, AIPAC director of foreign policy issues, and
Keith Weissman, AIPAC Iran expert) and an Israeli diplomat. As Mearsheimer
and Walt argue, AIPAC is simply “a de facto agent for a foreign
government” which enjoys tax exempt status spying on the US.
Rosen and Weissman were charged
and still waiting trial. The leaking of the FBI investigation of AIPAC
to the media on August 28th, 2004 gave advance warning to other spies
working with Franklin. Further more, Israel’s export of technology,
particularly arms technology (built with US input), and to China is
on the rise. The Israeli daily Ha’aretz
report recently that “in 2005 contracts were signed
for the export of more than $3 billion between Israeli and foreign companies”.
Yet the mainstream media in the US who hyped and propagated the illegal
war against the Iraqi people remain mute about Israel’s illegal
activities in the US and the danger of the pro-Israel powerful Lobby
to American democracy.
The arming of Israel by the
US and its European allies is neither in the interests of the Jewish
people nor is in the interests of the Americans and the Europeans. In
fact, what Israel is doing in Palestine is against the interests of
the Jewish people. Anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe and around the world
is not the result of anti-Semitism – all Arabs are ‘Semites’
–, but as a result of Israel’s brutal policy against the
Palestinian people, and Israeli propaganda to foment anti-Muslim and
anti-Arabs hatred around the world. Jews and Muslims (including Arabs)
have lived in coexistence for centuries. There are an estimated 30,000
Jews live happily in Iran. They are far better treated than the 1.2
million Arabs living in Israel, or the 4 million Palestinians living
under Israel’s brutal Occupation.
For the “two states”
solution to achieve equitable and lasting settlement for the peoples
of the region, Israel must first withdraw from all occupied Palestinian
land – demanded by UN Resolution 1402. Second, UN Resolution 3236
adopted in 1974 which affirmed the right of the Palestinian to self-determination
and national independence, as well as their right to return to their
homes and properties must be implemented unconditionally. The implementation
of this resolution is essential for a just and lasting peace.
Anti-American sentiment across
the world has increased as a result of US immoral policy of unconditionally
supporting Israel’s colonial policies in Palestine. “People
do not forget the death of their fellows, they do not forget the torture
and mutilation, they do not forget injustice, they do not forget oppression,
and they do not forget the terrorism of mighty powers. They do not only
don’t forget. They strike back”, said playwright and Nobel
laureate, Harold Pinter. If not rectified, US immoral policy will continue
to have massive consequences for the American people.
Mearsheimer and Walt rightly
argue that Israel is no longer a reliable ally but a burden on the US.
They write; Israel “is becoming a strategic burden [and] does
not behave like a loyal ally”. Israel is now “a liability”.
The US “[s]upport for Israel is not the only source of anti-American
terrorism, but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war
on terror more difficult. There is no question that many al-Qaida leaders,
including Osama bin Laden, are motivated by Israel's presence in Jerusalem
and the plight of the Palestinians. Unconditional support for Israel
makes it easier for extremists to rally popular support and to attract
recruits”, write Mearsheimer and Walt.
Having said all this, one
must be careful to blame all US crimes around the world on the pro-Israel
Lobby; it is a deliberate diversion. The US is the most powerful country
in the world. The US has far more tools for violence than any one, and
the US is not accountable to anyone, let alone the pro-Israel Lobby.
The US has enough power to force Israel to end it’s terror against
the Palestinian people. Any form of economic sanctions by the US and
its allies will force Israel to change its behaviour and pursue peaceful
settlement. The US administrations knew all along what they were/are
doing. In other words, the American administrations are complicit in
Israel crimes against the Palestinian people. The policies of both,
the US and Israel, are complementary imperialist policies.
Before she died for a noble
cause in Palestine, Rachel Corrie accurately observed: “I feel
like what I’m witnessing here is a very systematic destruction
of people’s ability to survive, and that is incredibly horrifying
… Sometimes I’m sitting down to dinner with people, and
I just realised that there is a massive military machine surrounding
them and trying to kill these people that I’m having dinner with,
these families that I’m sitting down to eat with and who are being
very generous and kind to me, and their children here, who are incredibly
threatened, living lives that no child ever should have to live”.
Rachel Corrie’s words were deliberately smeared and censored because
they humanise the Palestinian people.
It took only one brave American
citizen to stand in front of a US-made Israeli Army bulldozer to protect
not only innocent Palestinian lives but also America’s interests.
It is up to the Americans people to choose between the path of immorality
and injustice and the path of human rights and dignity for all.
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth,
 Mearsheimer, John &
Walt, Stephen (2006, March). The
Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Faculty Research
Working Papers Series. Harvard University: Boston, MA. An edited and
shorter version of this study is available on LRB.
 Chris McGreal (2006).
Apart. The Guardian, 06 February.
 Tivnan, Edward (1987).
The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy. New York:
Simon & Schuster, (p. 191).
 Bilmes, Linda & Stiglitz,
Joseph (2006, January). The
Economic Costs of the Iraq War. Paper presented at the
ASSA annual meeting. Boston, MA.